There are many different types, sizes and materials to choose from that can make finding the right wheelbarrow a challenge.
To help you decide on the right one for your needs, we’ve rounded up the best wheelbarrows in Australia and assessed them on a range of important metrics like capacity and tray material.
Our top pick: Daytek Home-Builder Wheelbarrow
Size: 70 litre
Bowl material: Galvanised steel
Pros: Galvanised steel tray, pneumatic tyre, made in Australia, affordable
Cons: Less suited to large jobs
This wheelbarrow is a great product if you’re looking for something to help you out with general jobs around the yard, or even renovating. It’s a sturdy, reliable wheelbarrow that’s made in Australia and comes with a 5-year structural warranty.
The pre-treated and powder-coated square tube steel frame means that it will last as long as you need it, and the galvanised steel bowl provides corrosion resistance meaning that it’ll be able to handle anything you throw at it. It also has diagonally braced legs for stability.
The 70-litre bowl capacity is enough space for most jobs around the house.
Best utility cart: PlantCraft 250kg Poly Pull Dump Cart
Bowl material: Polyethylene (plastic)
Pros: 4 wheels for stability, dumping function, can carry up to 250kg
Cons: Slower to transport materials than traditional wheelbarrow
This handy garden cart will make your life around the garden so much easier. Its frame is made from tough powder-coated steel and it has a polyethylene bed that’s ultra-durable and rust-proof, so you don’t have to worry about it getting ruined in the rain or sun.
The 75L tray can carry up to 250kg of materials, making it perfect for transporting soil, mulch, compost, fertilizer, and more. And while with a regular wheelbarrow you need to lift and tip (or shovel) out all the contents, this cart features a dumping function that tips the bed to an almost vertical angle so you can easily dump materials where you want them.
The cart also features 10” pneumatic tyres that can handle almost any terrain, so even if you’re working on rocky soil or mud, you won’t have any trouble getting your materials where they need to go. The pivoting front steering makes it easy to turn corners and navigate narrow pathways.
Upgrade pick: Makita 36V Powered Wheelbarrow
Size: Not stated
Bowl material: Steel
Pros: 130kg load capacity, 36V of power to reduce user workload
Cons: Very expensive, less suited to general yard work
If you are looking for a wheelbarrow that can handle all of your material transporting needs, this Makita powered wheelbarrow might be your best option.
This wheelbarrow is powered by two 18V Li-Ion batteries, which gives it plenty of power to get any job done. It has a heavy-duty steel-based bucket that makes it perfect for transporting materials from one place to another. It also has three wheels for stability and construction professionals will appreciate the ability to control the speed via an easy-to-use trigger on the control panel.
The maximum load capacity on this model is 130kg, which means you can use it for just about anything. It also comes with a manual tip function, front and rear brakes, and LED lights that illuminate in front of the wheelbarrow.
Also great: Sherlock 100L Steel Tray Wheelbarrow
Bowl material: Steel
Pros: Large capacity, powder-coated steel, pneumatic tyre
Cons: Not galvanised steel, more expensive than other options
This wheelbarrow is a versatile, durable, and ergonomic tool for gardening, yard work, or other DIY projects. Its 100L capacity means that you can carry lots of material in one go and the 7mm shock board adds strength to the tray itself.
The 16” pneumatic tyre gives you great traction on all surfaces and makes carrying loads of material easy even when going up or downhill.
The steel handles with fitted grips make it easy to grip the barrow when lifting or dumping materials; they’re also powder coated for extra durability. The tubular steel legs and stays are powder coated for added strength.
What to consider when choosing a wheelbarrow
We’ve outlined some key considerations below to help you make the right decision when choosing a wheelbarrow:
- What do you need it for? Wheelbarrows are incredibly versatile and have many uses, but some models are better suited to certain activities than others. Consider whether you need a basic garden wheelbarrow or a more heavy-duty variety. Galvanised steel wheelbarrows will take a beating and stand up to the elements, but they are also more expensive.
- What will be going into your wheelbarrow? The capacity of a wheelbarrow varies greatly between models. Choose one that best suits your requirements.
- What kind of terrain will you be using it on? The size, weight, and type of wheel all impact a wheelbarrow’s ability to maneuver over different surfaces.
Types of wheelbarrow
The most common types of wheelbarrow are the gardener’s wheelbarrow and the builder’s wheelbarrow.
- The gardener’s wheelbarrow is designed for light loads and features a shallow tray for easy access.
- The builder’s wheelbarrow is the classic choice for heavier jobs or moving rocks and bricks around your home or yard because its deeper tray can withstand more weight.
- Garden/utility carts have four wheels and are designed for heavy loads. They typically have larger trays than their wheelbarrow counterparts to accommodate these heavier materials. Utility carts usually have a dumping mechanism that flips the tray upright so the contents can be tipped out.
Wheelbarrow sizes (capacity)
Wheelbarrow sizes range from around 50L to 120L.
Most wheelbarrows for home use are in the 50L-100L range, with 100+ litre models being more suited to tradies or contractors.
A smaller size will be better suited if you’re going to be doing a lot of light gardening jobs, while a larger option would be more appropriate if you’re building retaining walls or other major projects.
Wheelbarrow tyres are air-filled (pneumatic), solid plastic or solid rubber.
- Pneumatic tyres are the best choice for a wheelbarrow because they offer the best performance and comfort.
- Solid plastic tyres are cheap but are hard to wheel as you feel every bump you push the wheelbarrow over.
- Solid rubber tyres are better than plastic ones but not as good as air-filled in terms of performance. They do, however, require less maintenance than pneumatic tyres.
What your wheelbarrow tray is made of will affect its lifespan and how heavy the load you can carry.
- Steel trays: The most durable material, steel will last for years if not decades. However, it isn’t immune to rust if left out in the elements or in a damp environment. Galvanised steel trays will last considerably longer but they are more expensive.
- Plastic trays: Plastic is lighter than steel which makes it easier to haul around when working with heavy loads like bricks or rocks. This can be a plus if you’re planning on doing a lot of moving around with your wheelbarrow rather than just using it for gardening work. However, plastic does have its drawbacks—it degrades over time and may crack under pressure.
When choosing a wheelbarrow, it’s important to consider the quality of its handles. Your hands take a lot of strain when operating a wheelbarrow over an extended period and the handles can make a big difference.
The handles should be easy to use, comfortable and well-positioned. They should also be strong enough to stand up to wear and tear.
If you’re tall or short, the handles will be positioned at different heights, which can make them more or less difficult to use. If possible, try out different wheelbarrows before buying one so that you can see how long your arms need to reach for them.
How do I select a wheelbarrow?
What you intend to use your wheelbarrow for will determine the one that is best suited to your needs. Consider the tray capacity (usually 50-100 litres) and material (steel or plastic). We recommend always opting for pneumatic tyres.